It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but the Christmas trees are already going up. Raise your hand if you’ve had yours up since the day after Halloween.
Since 1923, each president has honored the Christmas tree lighting tradition. It’s been 96 years since President Calvin Coolidge lit the first National Christmas Tree.
A Christmas tree farmer’s ultimate dream is to have one of their trees chosen as the National Tree. Now that dream has become a reality for lifelong tree farmer, Larry Smith.
Smith’s farm is located in Newland, North Carolina, in Avery County. His 19.5 foot Mountain Top Fraser Fir will mark the 13th North Carolina tree chosen to represent our country during the holiday season.
“This is like winning the Super Bowl,” Smith told WCNC. “The best part I would say is for my kids and grandkids. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Smith said that his father before him was a Christmas tree farmer. The two worked alongside one another for over two decades.
“Wish my dad was here,” he said. Smith’s mother will journey to the White House with him. The beautiful fir with its full layers and gorgeous color will be displayed in the White House’s Blue Room.
This story is certainly heartwarming, and a dream come true for this farmer and his family’s Christmas tree legacy.
What you might not know, however, is that Avery County is the setting for a classic children’s book called “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.”
The book was written by Avery County native Gloria Houston and was published in 1988, HC Press reports. Houston has since passed on, but her story continues to bring joy to families every Christmas season.
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“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,” said Ruthie the heavenly angel. ~The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, written by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Barbara Cooney #favoritebook #barbaracooney #gloriahouston #theyearoftheperfectchristmastree #appalachianchristmas
Now Smith can boast of his own “perfect Christmas tree” as it makes its way to the White House. The now-famous farmer is the National Christmas Tree Association’s 2018 Grand Champion.
This is certainly a Cinderella story if there ever was one. What’s been but a dream for one hardworking farmer is now a fairy tale come true.
We wish a very Merry Christmas to Smith and his family. The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Nov. 28. Christian artist Matthew West is among the lineup of performers featured at this year’s ceremony.
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